Morgan comes to the Tennessee Board of Regents as a relative outsider, after three decades of working in government, not academia.
But he sees his years at the head of the state's fiscal watchdog agency as an asset as he prepares to take over a higher education system hit hard by budget cuts and about to take on a long campaign to pull up Tennessee's dismal college graduation rate.
"I'm certain we can get these institutions to think about what we can do to ensure these students are successful," said Morgan, who would be taking over the system that governs six universities and every public community college and technology training center in the state, home to more than 200,000 students.
Influences another state's higher education policy. Another Republican state. From Slate. Does Arkansas’ Free Community College Program Hold Promise?
...Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed an act creating the Arkansas Future Grant, or ArFuture. Hutchinson is Republican, and both houses of the state’s Legislature are led by Republicans. The first grants would be available this fall.
The grant doesn’t require a minimum high school grade point average to qualify but goes to any traditional or nontraditional student—meaning recent high school graduates and adults—who enrolls in a science, technology, engineering, or math field, or another high-demand field, at any of the state’s community or technical colleges. As a last-dollar grant, ArFuture would go to students only after they’ve received federal and state aid. Grant recipients must participate in a mentor or community-service program, and after graduation, they must work full-time in Arkansas for at least three years.